A group of twelve Spode porcelain 'Tulip' cups, circa 1815-20


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A group of twelve Spode porcelain 'Tulip' cups, circa 1815-20

each colorfully painted cup naturalistically modeled as an open tulip flower, set with a slender green stem to form the handle and raised on a canted square base enameled in bright green, comprising six cups of larger size and six of slightly smaller size, six of the cups with red or black painted SPODE or Spode factory marks, the remainder unmarked. 12 pieces. 

heights 2 7/8 in.; 7.3cm and 2 1/2 in.; 6.3 cm

Located in New York. Please enquire to arrange a viewing.

Catalogue Note

The Spode factory was one of the leading English pottery and porcelain manufacturers of the early 19th century, producing richly enameled tea and dessert wares, and, in smaller numbers, more fanciful wares such as the present cups, which continue the English fashion for decorating the table for dessert - these were perhaps intended to hold a sweet cream or syllabub - with wares of fruit, flower or vegetable form. 

It is unusual to find a group of twelve tulip cups offered together, the most recent being a group of nine porcelain cups with a pottery stand, from the Collection of Mario Buatta, sold at Sotheby's New York, January 23 and 24, 2020, lot 144. Mario Buatta loved porcelain flowers of all types, but particularly tulips, and tulip cups from a variety of English factories graced the shelves of his George III red japanned bureau cabinet, the focal point of his celebrated yellow drawing room (see image above).